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happysmileylady

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happysmileylady last won the day on March 8 2016

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  1. Oh, we totally change up location and stuff. Today, I managed to get the whiteboard working again, so she wanted to do everything on that. Totally fine. As far as her extra reading practice, she has specific books with a worksheet with questions she has to answer.
  2. Today is Monday of week 2 back. Because she did so good remembering to turn in her homework and raising her hand to ask for help and getting her classwork done, she gets to be picked up at "the circle" this week instead of me walking to the classroom and checking her bags and desk before we leave. And she was SO excited. "Best Day Ever!" When they got home, I immediately shipped everyone outside with what's left of their Halloween candy and the bag of grapes from Raeanna's lunch and told them they could have an afterschool snack picnic outside. It's a beautiful day, because of the time change the sun will set at like 5:30 and that's just going to get earlier as the days go on. We are going to take advantage of outside time while we can. Once they were out the door, I took a look at Raeanna's bookbag. Rrr. She has the standard math page and math facts page. Then of course practicing spelling. Then sight words are back, a total of 18 of them. On top of all that the newsletter says "please practice these math facts each night to help your child memorize them" and lists all the 'doubles' ie 2+2, 4+4 etc up to 9+9. Then it says "please make sure your child gets 20 minutes of reading each night and remember to keep track in the yellow folders" also! Yellow folders are what they are using to track the school wide reading program, which is like book it or books and beyond. It does mention that all sight word practice, spelling, reading homework etc, can all count towards that 20 minutes. But still! And that is just regular class work. There is also still one book for speech and one book for the extra reading program (I think there are only 2 more weeks left on that.) It's just so much, IMO. Going back to the math for a minute, we already have a math facts page coming home, why does there need to be EXTRA math facts memorization on top of that? For Raeanna, she already has a lot of the basic math facts memorized or close to it, and that comes just from practicing them. But, really, adding up all that, 1st math sheet 5 to 10 min 2nd math sheet 5 to 10 min practice spelling 5 to 10 min practice sight words 10ish min practice math facts 5 to 10min extra reading 10ish min speech 10ish min Thats 50 to 70 minutes! I will probably haul the kids back in around 5ish. We will do the 2 math work sheets, practice spelling, and then do the extra reading and the speech. I am not going to mess with sight words and I am just going to mark down the total homework time in the yellow folder. We will get to sight words tomorrow because there won't be any speech. That extra math facts practice simply isn't going to happen because its redundant.
  3. Raeanna is on her third day back at school and so far, I think things are improving greatly. First, I have to say, she did say this weekend she didn't want to go back to school. This was the first time she has ever said that. I asked her why and she said that it was hard to follow directions and that she was afraid to pull a card (she is referring to the class management technique of having green cards, yellow cards, and red cards-green is good, yellow is warning, red is bad-you get the idea.) Now, she hasn't pulled a card at all this year. She pulled one last year after looking at another kid's paper while taking a spelling test. That's the only time she has had to pull a yellow card in the whole time she's been at school and she only had to after she was told multiple times not to look at someone else's paper. Anyway, she was all sorts of nervous about going back. So, I talked to her about it. I did NOT say anything to try to "butter her up" to homeschooling or anything like that. I responded as if I was never even considering homeschooling, because knowing my kid, I didn't want to make her anxiety worse (and I have learned a lot from having one high anxiety kid already.) I did tell her that if she didn't have to go to school, she would still have to do school work at home. I tried to be as neutral as I could, I didn't talk about doing things like nature walks or making crafts all day (though I would try to incorporate as much as I could,) but at the same time, I didn't try to make it out to be awful either, with sitting at the table and doing worksheets all day either. I didn't present it as a REAL option, only because I was (and am) still not sure I want to go that route, though the more I research the more I am confident that I CAN do it and that it might even be enjoyable. Anyway, so, she went to school on Monday. I dropped her off at the "circle" rather that walk her into the building, which was the highlight of her morning and she was excited and ready to go. When I picked her up, I checked in with the teacher. She said Raeanna had a GREAT day. She said she was working hard on making sure to raise her hand when she needed help, raise her hand and ask for the teacher to slow down when she needed to catch up on something they were working on as a group and generally just seemed to be really focused on doing what she was supposed to. Which is FANTASTIC, because that's something we have talked about a lot. AND, when Raeanna came home, she seemed to be more relaxed too, which is good. When we sat to do homework, there was a single math paper, the spelling list and then the speech book and a single book to read for her extra reading. No CVC or sight words practice at all...I think the teacher was paying attention when I was discussing the amount of work with the reading teacher (I didn't get to discuss it with her at the PTC because of Rae being sick and the other two being...kids lol.) Tuesday was more of the same. Homework was the math worksheet, the math facts sheet (which, btw, she was able to do ALL on her own, in a short amount of time, and got all right, I was very pleased.) and then spelling practice, and then just one book for extra reading. All of them took less than half an hour. And again, high praise from the teacher for her remembering to raise her hand to ask for help or to slow down a bit, greatly improved focus, etc. SO, I am pleased with that. As such, supplements have been going ok. Yesterday, we did a supplemental math lesson based partially on the addition they are doing in class, and partially on the repeated addition talked about in the Leap Frog math video they watched after school due to the rain. She liked it, she got it, and built on it a bit. She also started writing her birthday wish list, on her own. We are going to work on that a bit more today. Oh, and Dani Lee and CJ also enjoyed the math lesson LOL. SO, so far, school is going better. I am still undecided, still researching, but I have time. I am still leaning towards doing homeschool for the second half of the year, but we will see.
  4. Sad face. No meteor shower for us, by the time it got late enough to actually see them, it had clouded up just enough to not be able to see it.
  5. Someone earlier asked if Raeanna likes *learning*.. LOL. So, I found out that the Orionid meteor shower is tonight. I knew when the Perseids are in August and I was going to take them out for that, but Raeanna had been sick that week and had not gotten much sleep, so I decided that the sleep was more important. Well, she was sick again over the weekend, but she was fine yesterday and today and since there's no school, it's ok if she sleeps in a bit tomorrow. I mentioned that I think we should go see them and she was SO excited. I was going to explain what a meteor shower was and I mentioned the Perseids and she already knew! lol. She gleaned it from Curious George. And then, I mentioned the constellation, and she told me all about that too. Dinosaur Train lol. But she wants to go and look at all the constellations, wants to know about other showers etc etc. And then, on top of all that, she's watching the clock and counting the time until we go out lol. Yeah, I would say she likes learning. lol. She's about to vibrate off the floor lol. I wish I had grabbed a constellation book at the library. We might need to go back tomorrow lol.
  6. Well, I have come to a decision of sorts. By that I mean, I have decided I am not ready to make a decision yet lol. I need more information and I need I time to sort it all out. Pulling her out of school is a big decision that I can't turn around and undo right away (obviously I can put her in school again the next year. I only mean that if I pull her say next week, I can't turn around and put her back in two weeks later.) However, if I leave her in, I can pull her at any time. So, for now at least, she's staying. DH and I had a big old talk about it last night after I posted here. He's very confident in my ability to do it, he's not as confident in my having the TIME to do it. And if I do it, I want him to be 100% confident and comfortable with the decision too. I am going to do some more research. I am going to do some more supplementing at home, and see how it goes. I am going to see if I can find a sitter for CJ a couple of different days over the next week or so and see if I can get into the classroom and observe exactly what's going on in the room. I am a "begin with the end in mind" kind of person and I am going to do some more thinking on just exactly what my goals ARE and make sure that I know what is or isn't being met by the school. And I am going to give myself a soft deadline of Christmas break. At that time, I will evaluate her progress towards my goals, and my progress with supplementing, as well as making sure DH is comfortable, and then make my decision from that.
  7. This is certainly an option that I am looking at, if we can get a handle on the homework situation. The thing is though, if I am supplementing reading, supplementing science, supplementing social studies and more or less supplementing spelling...I start to wonder what am I sending her to school for.
  8. This will probably be a bit rambly. Or a lot rambly lol. I just don't know what to do. What I DO know is that I don't feel this school is working for Raeanna at this time. I know I don't like the way they are teaching reading, I don't like the math curriculum, I don't like how there's so little time for the other subjects. I know she could be learning more. I know her report card had all S grades except for one, and I know why the reading grade was a U. I know I don't like ALL the testing they are doing. What I also know is that Raeanna likes school. I also know that Dani Lee is doing very well right now. What I don't know is if I have the patience or self discipline to do everything. I sometimes get some grandiose ideas, and then come up short. Sometimes i read over a couple of posts in a homeschool blog or download and save some printables and I get all inspired and starting thinking about how I could X or Y or Z. Then other times I see things and recognize that there are a lot of supplies and space that I just don't have. And, right now, I hate to buy if I haven't made a decision. I also don't know how I would get started with her if I did pull her in the middle of the year. I don't know how she would react to leaving school, and I don't know how she would react to leaving if I left Dani Lee in school. I don't want to screw up enough that she can't go back in where she should. Like, if I pull her now, and we get to the end of the year and I realize that it's not working out, I don't want her to have to go back to first grade all over again. For one thing, she's already one of the oldest in her class. I have been reading websites and going through the state standards and looking over stuff in Ohio (since we will be moving there in 2018) and looking at online schools and am now officially overwhelmed. *sigh* One thing I have noticed is that it seems that there aren't any homeschool groups out here. Or if there are, they are small. The I don't know that I am really looking for advice...really more just thinking "out loud" here. I think tomorrow, a trip to the library is in order. I will see if I can get a hold of a hard copy of the state standards (easier to read than online) and see what other books i can find. My 3 biggest gripes are the reading, the amount of homework, and the testing. I think the way they teach reading works for some kids, I don't think it's working for my kid. I think if we could get past the reading, the homework would be easier to deal with. I think the amount of testing is stupid and I think it's not an accurate measure of real knowledge. I could deal with the math curriculum because I can see that even though I don't LIKE how it works, and I think it's making things overly complicated, she IS learning. And, I can deal with the lack in other subjects because if we don't have much homework, I can supplement around school. *sigh*
  9. Tonight's dinner is Italian Roast Beef, using one of the roasts from the freezer. Yesterday's turkey creole used up the last of the leftover turkey and we are going to use the last whole turkey next week. I am LOVING the freezer inventory sheet that DH made for me. On Friday, I pulled $250 out for the grocery envelope for the next two weeks. Of that, I have $95 left. I got $36 worth of fresh veggies from Fresh Thyme (I love that place and I love when my mom is coming out and she stops there for me on the way. ) I also replenished the shrimp in the fridge because all the shrimp we had has been used up. At $3.99 a lb, that's a great price. The rest, I spent at Meijer getting flour, sugar, and spices for the most part. A couple of produce items that were a better deal at Meijer than Fresh Thyme. The spices were on sale at Meijer, plus a 50c off digital coupon that worked for EACH one (unusual) so I stocked up. Which is good, cause when I went to see what we needed, we were out of like ALL the spices. Thyme, Rosemary, Ginger, etc etc. Even so, spices can be a bit expensive in terms of price per ounce, so replacing all that ate up a lot of the grocery budget. The flour and sugar didn't though! I got 15lbs of flour and 15lbs of sugar, plus a small box of baking soda, all for $7. Wooo Whoo! Next week's menu is already planned and the grocery list is already made, and I should come in right at that $95. Less if we don't use all the produce this week. Depends on how often DH gets leftovers vs salad in his lunch. Today I need to go out and get a couple of gallons of milk, but I have a $5 gift card to walmart that I won recently, so I am going to use that to buy the milk. I think it's running $2.50 a gallon at Walmart, so that should cover 2 gallons. If I need to I will pick up a CVS card from Perk and use that later this week. I also need to go the bank and deposit some change, our change jar is full so that will go into savings for storm cloud mode (which, btw, we ARE still doing ALSO. Paying off this debt actually WON'T leave us at $1k BEF and nothing else. ) I also need to pick up a car part for DH's muffler-he had to order it so I am picking it up (yay for maint. evelope!) and I need to put gas in my van. Also I need to get the grey van ready to sell and get it listed later this week. The problem with it IS repairable, it's just that DH can't do it. If someone else already has the equipment and the space, they could repair it pretty cheaply. Which means its probably worth a little more than scrap value, if only a couple hundred. That money is ALSO being set aside. SO, there's all that. I have some errands to run, and then later today, I have a lesson to try out with the kids. I am going to go get my work done.
  10. So since this is my bog i can say whatever I want right? Obviously i have been part of a somewhat drama filled post recently. And, while i said thst the opinions of others are fine and i did respond and defrnd myself somewhat, since this here is my blog i will say and address what i feel like. There was a particular line about "kangaroo meat,....and gourmet meals at home." i want to point that out...AT HOME. DH and I havent been out to eat together in MONTHS. And, while we have totally purchased the occasional fast food/drive thru meal, its ALWAYS been within either the grocery/blow money budget. AND i am not justifying that at all, because its a flaw. if i have all these pounds of chickrn i should use them instead of buying fried chicken. Regardless of whether its within the grocery budget or not. However, the whole "at home" got me too. It felt as if the implication was that now, not only should those who are struggling not go out to eat, but they should only eat PB&J at home too. I have FIVE people here to feed. I am trying to feed them good high quality food. i am working with some picky kids, 2 of which might be on the ASD spectrum. I just can't see $600 for all the food AND toiletries, misc household and such, as excessive or outside of DR's recommendations. And if i can use my $600 a month/$150 a week to buy a side of beef, to build a stockpile of food that is similar to ehat was a VITAL part of getting us through DHs unemployment AND STILL eat GOOD food on top of that, well, REALLY? Most of the country can't figure out hot to buy ONLY food for 5 on that budget. i have food and TP and soap and laundry detergent on that. and it doesn't even count cloth diapers for CJ. Another mention was piling up cash instead of paying this debt. the idea being that this was storm cloud mode. while i get it, the reality is that we have been in storm for TWO YEARS. And that doesn't count the years prior where we were deal with pregnancies or kids being sick. Remember CJ being in the hospital for a week at 4 months old? Cause I do. And then there are things with Caiti that i am not willing to share for her privacy that also went on that year. We CANNOT stay in storm cloud mode forever. We have certainly had our share of "non DR situations" I would classify those as our trip to Disney in Oct 2013 (given whats happened since, dont regret it for a second) and MAYBE my garage sale trips. But, i can't say that i believe that my lack of steady income from A J.O.B. or that eating somewhat fancy stuff AT HOME, are the real reasons we are where we are. and is this is what life is throwing at us, i am doing what i think is best given what we have been thrown. I think that sometimes you have to move forward. Storm cloud mode isnt supposed to last 2+ years.
  11. They are ongoing assessments that are meant to show progress. So, the assessment at the beginning of the year is more of a "this is where the student is at now" sort of thing. And truth be told, they don't take hours and hours, but just like with the homework, little bits here and little bits there and it does add up.
  12. I think 10 is not just a lot...it's insane. There are 3 that test reading comprehension, 1 that tests phonics, 1 vocabulary, 1 writing, 2 general math and 2 for basic math facts.
  13. Nah, it's over and done with. What will be will be. On to the girls conferences. Dani Lee's was actually even better than expected. She's meeting all her progress goals, everyone's very happy with her progress. Academically, she's got all the stuff they will be working on in kindergarten with only a few small exceptions. So that's all good. Raeanna's...it didn't go well. First, Raeanna came out of class sick. She was whiney and said everything hurt, and she felt warm. Eventually we visited the nurse, she's got a fever of 101 and she laid down with the nurse while I had to rush through the conference. Her report card looks good, S for everything except reading, which is as expected. Several of her earliest reading tests/quizzes she completely bombed, which I already knew. She didn't really get how the test worked. They were multiple choice comprehension type of questions and she just started randomly filling in circles. Thats an issue that has already been addressed, and she's already got some better grades going forward, so the teacher expects a better grade next time around. I didn't get to ask questions I wanted to about class behavior, getting along with the kids and such because of Raeanna being sick and Dani Lee and CJ getting really fidgety. The teacher did say she was happy to have her in class so I will go with that. The homework issue did get addressed and we have made some compromises. There will be less homework coming home. I left her in the extra reading, ONLY because there are only a couple more weeks left and because we are dropping almost all the homework from it. I was handed a sheet with no less than TEN standardized testing scores. TEN! And all ten are done multiple times a year! And Raeanna tested below on all of them. Of course these tests are in all sorts of formats, some are on the computer, some are on ipads, some are on paper with bubbles, etc etc. This is another area where the teacher said that Raeanna seems to be getting the hang of how these work though and she expects better scores next time around. I did get to ask what sort of other subject stuff they were doing...ie what sort of science, social studies etc. Um...yeah. They are doing little to nothing...like nearly every other school. Occasionally as something interesting comes up in the news or something, they have a short discussion, like when the super moon thing came up. She said she pulled up some pics and information on the overhead thing, they talked about it, that was about it. They occasionally watch Wild Kratts, they had a field trip to the fire station so that was a social studies lesson. All of which are not bad, but there's no real curriculum for science or social studies at all. Generally speaking, I didn't come away from it feeling real excited. I don't know what I am going to do.
  14. *sigh* Caiti came down today. She had something minor going on with her car so she came home so DH could look at it, he did, she had to go get a small part, it was fine. But, while she was here, I did have to say my thoughts on some things. I was angry, and that was obvious, but I wasn't cray cray. There was no screaming or cussing or real drama. The situation was uncomfortable but I don't care. She needed to understand exactly how I felt and WHY I felt that way. Ultimately, the choice she is making ISN'T that bad. It's actually probably not bad at all. But, it's not the choice I am angry about, it's WHY she is making it. She's not going to ruin her life with this anything. I just want her to make the choices she makes for GOOD reasons, not whiney lazy ones. In the end, I told her that she's going to be 20 yrs old and she is going to make her choices. I told her that what I really ask is that she go back and really really think hard about what she's choosing and making sure she's doing it for the right reasons. And then, I am done with it. *sigh* She's going to do what she's going to do. She's not like up and moving to South Africa to study underwater basket weaving, she's not going to join some cult commune in the middle of Alaska, she's not quitting school, or studying the graceful properties of pot or anything crazy or whatever. So, I made sure she understood how I felt and why I feel how I feel and then...that's it. I won't bring it up again. I am going to play Frozen on repeat tomorrow in the car. "Let It Go."
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